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Rep. John Rutherford

John Rutherford, former sheriff of Jacksonville, has been in Congress two years. How’s he doing?

According to the ratings of the American Conservative Union, so-so.

The ACU, like its left-wing counterpart Americans for Democratic Action, rates members of congress annually based on their votes on key issues selected by the two organizations.

In his first year, 2017. Rutherford voted “right” 76 percent of the time. Last year, he slipped to 68 percent.

That put him near the middle of the pack among Republican members of the House from Florida.

Ron DeSantis scored 100 percent last year – and he got promoted to governor of Florida.

At the lower end of the spectrum was Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Scoring a weak 24 percent last year she retired, after 30 years, citing “personal reasons.”

All of the Republicans, of course, scored better than any of the Democrats, most of whom had about 4 percent.

Rutherford, for example, voted with the House majority to block reforms to the sugar program, which the ACU describes as “a Depression-era policy which is designed to enrich sugar producers through subsidies and reduced foreign competition, and results in artificially high sugar prices.”

But the sugar industry is big in Florida and provides many jobs.

He also voted against a modest spending cut in one appropriations bill.

But Rutherford is for tighter immigration laws, against gun control and generally for less government.

Rutherford, now in his second term, has a way to go before he scores like conservative Florida standouts such as Ted Yoho and Dan Webster, but he’s no liberal, to his credit.

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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